The St. Louis Rams have been exceeding betting-window expectations at home lately, going 4-1 against the spread over their last five games at the Jones Dome.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost their last five games against teams from the tough NFC West. Trends collide when the 6-8 Rams host 4-10 Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon.
Point spread: Rams opened as 4.5-point favorites; the total was 42.5. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 19.7-15.8 Rams
Why the Bucs can cover the spread
Following its 0-8 start to this season, Tampa Bay was playing better, with four victories in five games, before reverting to its earlier form in a 33-14 loss to San Francisco on Sunday. Then again, it's no crime to lose to the Niners. The Bucs have actually given five solid performances over their last seven games.
By coincidence, they're also 5-2 ATS over their last seven games. If rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, who's thrown four interceptions over the last three weeks, can cut that out, Tampa Bay will be in this game.
Why the Rams can cover the spread
St. Louis just gave one of its better performances of the season, holding the high-powered Saints to a pair of meaningless fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 27-16 victory Sunday. So the Rams are now 3-4 SU, 4-3 ATS with Kellen Clemens at quarterback.
Running back Zac Stacy just posted his third 100-yard effort of the season, and the St. Louis defense forced three New Orleans turnovers. The Rams are also 2-1 ATS this season when listed as favorites on the NFL betting line.
The computer is calling for a St. Louis victory but a Tampa Bay cover in a game that stays UNDER its total. Can St. Louis back up its big effort of last Sunday against New Orleans? Or are the Rams ripe for a letdown?
St. Louis has a slight edge on offense, but Tampa Bay owns a small edge on defense. In a tough case like this, we like points, so we'll go with the underdog Bucs.
There is a competing angle for totals bettors, with the computer siding with the UNDER (as five of the past six meetings between these teams have cashed that way).
- Five of the past six meetings have played UNDER the total
- Rams are 4-1 ATS past five home games
- OVER is 6-0 past six times Rams are home favorites
- Bucs have lost five in a row SU to NFC West teams